Recap: ‘Project Runway’ – Wedding Dress Challenge Drama

10.09.09 8 years ago

Weinstein Company

Another episode of PR, another chance to throw Raggedy Andy/Chucky/Nicolas under the bus. Maybe it”s just the lingering aftertaste of the white chaps and the Ice Queen Halloween-in-a-bag dress, but I just want him to go home. But I have a sinking feeling this week is not the week, since I think most of the designer will have their (wait for it) work cut out for them (bah-dum-dum!) with this week”s challenge. Now that it”s down to nine designers, it”s really anyone”s game.

Just as an aside, I have to say that downtown Los Angeles looks so much nicer in the opening credits of PR. Or maybe that”s just because you can”t smell the drunken bum pee on TV.

Irina thinks the other designers hate her a little for winning two challenges in a row. Logan thinks Irina is getting a little full of herself. Logan is not wrong. This week Irina took a quantum leap from doubting and insecure ingénue to haughty, kinda bitchy diva, and it”s so not flattering. In fact, I”d say it makes her look fat. So there.

Heidi announces the next challenge. And I have to say, this might be one of the better ones. A bunch of women swan down the runway in their wedding dresses, some of which are more hideous than others (wait, is that Holly Hobbie? No, crap, it”s an early 80s wedding dress, run for your lives!). Great, a bridal challenge, right? Au contraire! These women have all gotten divorced, and they want their bridal gowns transformed into cute new outfits. 

Then, just for kicks or to fill time, all of the women reveal how long they”ve been divorced, and I have to say, kudos to the two girls who can still fit in their wedding gowns after cutting the grooms loose more than a decade ago. Apparently resentment, bickering and reduced economic circumstances can be a good diet plan, who knew?

Irina gets first pick of the divorcées, and of course picks one wearing a dress with tons of fabric to work with. The rest of the designers follow suit, leaving poor Shirin to face the one divorcée who is wearing what really looks like a white nightgown. Chatty Cathy is, of course, crushed, which means she”ll be nattering to herself like a hyperactive billy goat throughout the challenge. Yay.

Oh, but wait, Shirin”s not done. Back at FIDM, the designers get their hands on the dresses, only to discover what every married woman knows – ninety percent of bridal gowns are made out of scary, scratchy petroleum products. Seriously, never let a bride stand too close to an open flame or you”ll be delivering that Williams-Sonoma toaster oven to her in the burn unit. Anyway, Shirin discovers that not only is her dress a nightie, it”s also pure polyester. Thus, no dyeing. Shirin is screwed. I think all she can do is hem the monstrosity and call it a day. 

Tim Gunn drops by to deliver good news and bad news. Good news, it”s the last immunity challenge of the series. Bad news, it”s also a one day challenge. 

Then, the divorcées come in to consult. And it turns out there”s a reason why most of them are divorced, and that reason is that they”re totally irrational, demanding nutballs. Shirin”s divorcée wants something crazy fabulous and all 1970s era Cher, possibly with feathers. And a head dress. Because those are on the plain polyester nightie she wore walking down the aisle. Does she not get this? This is about redesigning the wedding dress, not a costume rental.

Tim takes the designers to Mood and let”s them go wild, if wild means buying up to (but not more than) two yards of fabric and $25 worth of crap. 

Carol Hannah, who actually makes wedding dresses, kind of feels that ripping up a bridal gown is like spitting in church, while Irina thinks it”s empowering. Gordana, the only real bride-turned-divorcée in the bunch, actually gets weepy, which kind of renders all the other girls” opinions on the subject moot. 

With a few exceptions, though, you might as well call this the Shirin episode. Which isn”t so bad, because it is like watching a car accident. And sadly, the nutjob behind the wheel isn”t even Shirin but some crazy ass woman with a Cher complex.

Yay, it”s time for Tim to make his rounds! He sees Christopher”s dress and is immediately worried. But Christopher knew he would be, and walks him through his black-and-white cocktail dress. Tim still doesn”t look convinced. Tim loves Irina”s dye job, and he”s very excited. Tim thinks Epperson”s outfit looks like a lab coat. He”s very worried about Logan”s outfit. He thinks Gordana”s look is beautiful but he wants her to take it as far as she can. Shirin starts to cry before Tim says much of anything, so he tells her to clear off her table and liberate herself from the dress. 

Shirin isn”t the only one freaking out. After talking to Tim, Epperson realizes he has to incorporate more of the wedding dress into his design. Logan, who is realizing he”s making a big mess, has a crapload of work to do.

The divorcées come to visit, and all of them seem (amazingly) pretty thrilled with their new outfits… except for Shirin”s diva. Who, of course, can”t understand what Shirin”s been doing all day. I half expect her to snap her fingers and tell Shirin to fetch her an ice blended mocha. But she doesn”t, probably because Shirin has pinking shears very close-by and those could be quite effective in taking off an ear. 

Boy, time flies on this show. It”s already the next morning, and the divorcées are coming back for their final fitting. Epperson”s divorcée loves the dress. Althea”s divorcée cries she likes hers so much. Carol Hannah”s thinks hers looks more expensive than the original wedding dress (and, even though they”re made of crap, wedding dresses are super expensive, so that”s saying something). Jordana”s girl can”t wait to wear hers out. 

Then, we have Shirin”s model. She wants a shorter hem, but she isn”t too bitchy about it, thank God. Christopher”s divorcée doesn”t want to look like a grandmother, to which I say, it would help if you didn”t dye your hair Target red, lady, but that”s just me. 

Raggedy Andy/Chucky/Nicolas” cruelty-free diva loves her dress. She actually says she wants to have Nicolas” baby, which makes him look like he wants to throw up, but hey, he should take compliments where he can get them. Problem is, he hates the new outfit. He thinks it”s the ugliest thing he”s ever made, and considering this is the guy who made white lace chaps this season, that”s ugly. 

Logan”s model loves her wool pants. Logan is thinking he screwed up. Queen Bitch Irina thinks his outfit looks crazy and the pants are crap. Unfortunately, she”s kind of right.

Whoo, runway time!

Our judges for the week are Michael Kors, Zanna Roberts and founder of Jimmy Choo, Tamara Mellon. Who is, of course, wearing great shoes.


It”s actually hard to judge the dress simply because the “model” looks like she”s having a stroke as she hobbles down the runway. I swear, that was so distracting she could have been naked and I”d be thinking, why isn”t anyone calling a paramedic? But the shimmery bronze color is kind of amazing. Not so sure about the sleeves, but still a massive improvement over that creepy Southern belle bridal gown. 


Shirin is just happy there aren”t peacock feathers coming out of her model”s butt, but honestly, this is pretty chic, even if it”s really just a shorter, cuter version of the bridal nightie. Nice stitching detail, though.


Oh ma God. I think he may actually go home for this. The pants aren”t bad, but the vest looks like it puked up a Muppet at the neckline.

Carol Hannah

I love the grey, I love the little shrug, I love the layers. Nice job.


The blue works, but not a big fan of the navy blue triangles over the boobs. 


Ugh. Because the judges seem to have been drinking the Nicolas Kool-Aid, they”ll probably love this, but I think Nicolas is right. This is hideous. And the only remnant of the actual wedding dress is a doily-looking vest, which I”ve got to think will land him in the bottom three.


This is a nice little dress. Unfortunately, the color looks a little similar to Carol Hannah”s. But I love the deconstructed look of it.


This dress looks a tad like a cellophane trash bag. The question is, where”s the wedding dress?


This is kind of frumpy. I could totally see this selling at Macy”s.

Judging time! Althea, Nicolas and Carol Hannah get a pass into next week.

Michael loves Gordana”s dress. Tamara loves the asymmetrical neckline. Then, it”s Christopher”s turn. Michael thinks his dress looks like a metallic Hefty bag. I say cellophane, he says Hefty, tomato, tomahto. Epperson explains that he misunderstood the challenge, which just pisses off Heidi, who calls the outfit Octoberfest. And she would know, I guess. Tamara thought his frumpy little dress was way too pirate”s wench, and that”s not a good thing.

Shirin braces for a beating, but amazingly, Tamara loves the dress. Michael is impressed that Shirin ignored her divorcée. Logan isn”t so lucky. Heidi thinks his outfit is Octoberfest, and what are the chances of having two Octoberfest outfits in one show? In October? It makes me want to dance on a table with a stein of beer. Anyway, Zanna thinks it looks amateur. Michael thinks the top is so unflattering the poor woman wearing it looks like an opera singer. 

Zanna is impressed with Irina”s dress. Tamara thinks it looks expensive. Heidi thinks it”s unbelievable. Irina”s ego starts to grow like the scary chickens in “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.”

The judges confer. Tamara and Heidi are so impressed that Shirin stood up for herself, which is ironic, because I feel like the judges can never make up their minds about whether the designers are doing too much of what the clients want or not enough. Michael thinks Gordana”s outfit is versatile and elegant. Michael thinks Irina”s dress was age appropriate. 

As for the losers, Tamara thought Epperson dressed his model like she was going to a themed party. Zanna actually does one of those wide-eyed whistles she”s so appalled. Tamara groans thinking of Christopher”s garbage bag dress. I think the judges should always do expressive sounds and voices for judging, because it”s just more fun. And it”s a helpful thing for the deaf people in the audience.

Shirin is… in. 

Gordana is… the winner! Good for her! Even though I haven”t loved some of her designs lately, since she got all weepy about wedding dresses, it only seems fair that she scores on this challenge. Backstage, Nicolas puts on a fake smile, because he”s just that guy.

Irina is… in. Christopher is… in

So, either Logan or Christopher is going home. Heidi notes they both delivered Octoberfest moments. 

Logan is… in. Epperson gets the boot. 

Aw, I hate to see Epperson go. I really had started rooting for Oldie McOlderson, just because he seemed to be a nice, laid-back guy as long as Qristyl wasn”t in the room, which she hasn”t been for some time. Bye, Oldie.

Ooh, next week. The designers are designing for a five time Grammy winning artist and Bob Mackie is a judge. I”m thinking Cher. Or Liza. But it”s probably Toni Braxton or some weirdo who wins the polka or folk-art flute Grammy or whatever whom we so don”t care about. So don”t get too excited.

Do you think Epperson deserved to go? What did you think of Shirin”s dress? Do you hate Nicolas” hair as much as I do?


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